Saturday Game Rewinds: Women’s Basketball Topples West Virginia Wesleyan on Last Second Shot

Wheeling, W. Va. – Throughout the summer, we are taking a look back at some of the most exciting games of the 2021-2022 Wheeling Athletics season with our Saturday Game Rewinds. For our week two game, we are looking back at one of the most exciting moments of the season that happened on a cold December day inside the Alma Grace McDonough Center. The Wheeling University Women’s Basketball team was locked in a battle with West Virginia Wesleyan and was in search of their second straight Mountain East Conference (MEC) win of the season. It would come down to the wire as one shot turned what would have been a devastating loss into a big boost for a young team.

December 4th, 2021wheeling 52West Virginia Wesleyan 51

Coming into their seventh game of the season, it had been a bumpy start to 2021-2022 for the Wheeling Women’s Basketball team. They dropped their first five games of the season, including their first two conference games against Alderson Broaddus and Notre Dame College, and they were trying to find their groove. They were coming off their first MEC Conference win of the season in the previous game, taking down Davis & Elkins 82-54 and were trying to make it two in a row to bring their conference record back even at 2-2 for the season.

The Cardinals got off to a slow start in this one as the Bobcats were able to build a 6-2 lead over the first four minutes of the game, the only Wheeling basket was registered by junior Lauren Calhoun and with 6:33 on the first quarter clock, Wheeling looked to get things going. Wesleyan would make it an 8-2 game before sophomore Shanley Woods came to the line and hit a pair of free throws that would get the Cardinals going. Calhoun added a jumper and just like that a six-point deficit was turned into a two-point game with 3:55 left in the opening quarter. The two teams traded baskets up until the final seconds of the first quarter when Wesleyan had a 12-8 lead. Calhoun and fellow junior Jacqui Hinesmon each added buckets over the quarter’s final 30 seconds and after one the game was knotted up at 12-12.

As the second quarter began, Wheeling pulled away for their biggest lead of the night to that point when Junior Maura Castellucci hit the first bucket of the second quarter. Wheeling would make it a 16-12 game at the 8:34 mark and furthered their lead to 20-14 to complete an 8-2 run, finished by a pair of layups from sophomore Ciadorah Angervil, with 6:47 left before the half. The defenses would take over for the next two minutes as the teams went up and down the court twice with each team missing two baskets. Hinesmon would hit a layup at the 4:52 mark to get the offense started again and the back and forth from the first quarter continued. Wheeling maintained a six-point lead over the Bobcats and led 30-22 before a last second foul. West Virginia Wesleyan’s Imani Jackson would then come to the line and knocked in a pair of free throws before halftime to make it a 30-24 halftime score.

Those two free throws would prove big in the momentum game as West Virginia Wesleyan came out hot once again in the third quarter. Courtney Wilfong hit a bucket to start the third quarter and began a 9-0 run for the Bobcats that gave them a 33-30 advantage with 5:23 left in the third. Calhoun hit the first Wheeling bucket of the third quarter at the 5:05 mark and hit the next three buckets to put Wheeling back in the lead 34-33. West Virginia Wesleyan would score the next four points and looked like they would have the lead in the fourth quarter. However, Castelluci would hit a big three with 10 seconds left in the third and the game would remain tied at 37-37 heading into the final 10 minutes of play.

The fourth quarter began with a back and forth that lasted the first four minutes of the quarter. Each team added three points to their score, and it sat at a 40-40 game with 6:33 left to play. Defense was stiff and neither team was budging until the Bobcats broke out on a short run. They scored four of the next five points and went out to a 44-41 lead at the halfway mark of the quarter. Calhoun single-handedly got her team back in the game with three straight buckets to put Wheeling ahead 47-46. Hinesmon hit a bucket that made it 49-46 with 1:23 to play and the scene was set for a dramatic finish as both teams tried to gain the upper hand.

After a miss, Wheeling had a chance to put the game away, but a missed bucket turned into a layup on the other end and suddenly it was a 49-48 game. A foul brought freshman Shamia Strayhorn to the line and she ended up missing both free throws as West Virginia Wesleyan called a timeout. They would turn it into another bucket and took a 50-49 lead with just eight seconds on the clock. Calhoun would foul to bring the Bobcats to the line with five seconds to play and they hit one of the two shots to make it a 51-49 game. It was still a one-score game, but Wheeling had to draw up a quick play to get at least two points. Shamia Strayhorn took the inbound with five seconds to go and quickly moved up the court. She made it to the Volleyball line with 0.3 left on the clock and sent the ball hurling towards the net. It ended up finding it’s way in and Wheeling rushed the court as they picked up a 52-51 win.

Strayhorn wasn’t heavily involved in the offense throughout the night, but she hit her shot when it counted scoring six points on the night. Lauren Calhoun led the way with 20 points while Jacqui Hinesmon added 14 points on the night to round out Wheeling’s double digit scorers. It moved Wheeling’s record in conference to 2-2 as they were looking to turn the corner as December kicked off.

Stay tuned every week for a new Saturday Game Rewind. Next week, we take a look back at an unforgettable night in the NCAA Atlantic Regional Volleyball Tournament as Wheeling Volleyball took on Edinboro.

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